Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team
 

Posts Tagged ‘cleanliness’

How to Accomodate Travelers With Allergies

May 9th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

Bee Speed!!!

Yes, spring is in the air and so is Ah-choo!

From time to time The B&B Team publishes articles we feel are relevant to the innkeeping community. Innkeepers often share information about their ever increasing number of guests with food allergies. This is a very popular thread on the PAII Forum. But what about guests with air born allergies? The following article by Elise Redmann addresses this issue with some great advise and workable tips. Read on.

It’s allergy season, and the recent surge in hypoallergenic lodging alternatives means that American lodging consumers, already more scrupulous than ever about spending their hard-earned dollars, are also less likely to tolerate anything but pristine conditions. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that 60 million people, or one in five, suffer from one or both conditions, but just one guest sacrificed to dust and mites is too many in any industry as competitive as inn-keeping.

The following tips are some of the easiest, and most necessary, to allergy-proofing your inn. It may be best, however, to contract a professional service Like Pure Solutions or Green Suites Hotel Solutions when hosting severely allergic or asthmatic guests. You can help keep everyone else sniffle-free with the following steps:

Dehumidify: Mold and dust mites are among the most common (not to mention unsightly) allergens, and both thrive in damp conditions. Invest in a dehumidifier and be sure to change the filter regularly, so that the machine itself remains free of potential irritants.

 

Decimate Dust: Dry dusting merely redistributes accumulated dirt and dust throughout the air; use a damp duster instead. Blinds and shutters are more hygienic than curtains, which trap dust and mites in their folds. Installing or refurbishing hard flooring, whether wood, tile or synthetic, will also make rooms easier to clean and less hospitable for mites; if carpet is inevitable, a vacuum with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will help cleanse the air of minute particles. Non-HEPA filters can actually trigger allergy and asthma attacks by recirculating dust throughout the room.

 

Clean Green and Fragrance-Free: Earth-friendly and fragrance-free detergents and cleaning products are far less likely to irritate sensitive skin than conventional products, and green housekeeping is attractive to an increasingly broad market demographic. Just don’t go overboard: flowers and plants themselves can trigger hay fever, and the water necessary for their upkeep humidifies the air.

 

B0008353 Dust mite

The mitey dust beast

Be Superficial: Encase pillows, mattresses and comforters in hypoallergenic covers made from densely woven microfibers that prevent dust mites from passing from pillow to skin. Launder everything at a minimum temperature of 140° F to kill mites. For a truly pristine environment, bacteriostatic sprays can shield the most sensitive guests from all surface irritants and allergens.

 

Clear the Air: Severely asthmatic and allergic guests may require medical-grade air purifiers to eliminate all potential pathogens, while heating and cooling systems should be regularly maintained and disinfected. Smoking should be verboten and pets should be forbidden when possible: smoke permeates every surface it touches and lingers far longer than it is visible, and it takes 30 days and other purifying measures to remove all pet dander and pet-born allergens.

Elise Redmann writes about hotel management and hospitality for U.S. News University Connection. You can follow her on twitter @EliseRedmann

Thank you Elise. I believe that innkeepers could easily implement some of these practices. Following through to make sure your guests are informed of your efforts is essential. List your practices on your website, blog, Facebook, confirmation letter, guest information book…spread the word. Clean and green!

Thanks for Listening

Janet Wolf

 

 

Inn Tune-Up – Better Way to Improve

April 15th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

If you check out your Thesaurus (thanks to Microsoft Word it is just a few clicks away) the word ‘better’ offers a few similar adjectives and one is ‘Improved’. Innkeepers are constantly improving their properties, at least they should be. In Jay Karen’s recent Key Notes article in the Winter IQ magazine he boldly and justly spoke of the below average B&B’s. It is unfortunate but oh so true when he said…”there are a lot of B&B’s out there that might not be a better way to stay.”  The Inns that are not constantly searching for ways to improve usually end up on the below average list.

In my research for this writing I decided to read reviews on Trip Advisor from a random choice of Inns. I wanted to come up with the top 10 complaints.  I didn’t have to go very far before I realized the complaints were the same ones we see and talk about all the time. No need for a list of 10.

No.1 complaint is still lack of cleanliness!

 No. 2 complaint is still inhospitable innkeepers!

 Another complaint is outdated décor which usually is accompanied with phrases like, ‘run down’,’ worn carpets’ and one I really thought was revealing , ‘…antique bureau drawers were hard to open and impossible to close’.  The outdated décor is usually not the real issue; it is the underlying fact that the décor is old, tired and not well kept.

The B&B Team has been consulting with innkeepers on how to improve their overall business for years. Recently we decided to put a title to what we do. We call it our ‘Inn Tune-up’. We created a very extensive check-list that starts with the property’s first impression when you drive up and continues through the Inn looking at guest rooms, marketing, and operations.  We have outlined over 250 check points. The final analysis comes with a report with suggestions for improvements.  We strive to be honest and forthright (oh I just checked out the word forthright and the adjective’ blunt’ came up). Many innkeepers we have worked with have thanked us for being blunt! They have told us they just needed another set of eyes. The old saying, ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’, we believe we can look up, down and around those trees and give innkeepers a complete picture of their valued forest.

The B&B Team realistically visits dozens and dozens of properties nationaly a year. That would include all six of us on the team. I believe this gives us a good perspective from which to work  when doing our ‘Inn Tune-up’. We believe we can offer innkeepers a Better Way to Improve.

To conclude I would like to make another observation from a review I read for an Inn with new owners that had recently completed an entire makeover. A quote from the review was…”we were looking for an experience, not just a bed. The living room was more like a lobby”. I found this comment very telling, because one can go too far opposite  from broken antique bureaus and dusty doilies. Decor can be minimalist with clean lines but not at the expense of becoming stark and cold. Again quoting Jay, “…we are posing ourselves to tell the world that B&Bs are better than hotels.”  A hotel lobby look is not what B&B’s need either.

So thanks Jay for being blunt and for your continued care and upkeep of our industry. We all need a new set of eyes and a good ‘kick in the gas’ with a tune-up once in a while. Ha!

Janet Wolf

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